Motor Vehicle Homicide Plea

Plea agreement in highway death case. A 21-year-old man pleaded no contest to a Class I Misdemeanor count of motor vehicle homicide.

Russell J. Haynes of Lincoln entered the plea and the prosecution dismissed a count of no proof of insurance, a Class II Misdemeanor. The agreement includes the state recommending a probationary sentence, said Cass County Attorney Nathan Cox.

The Cassgram reports Haynes was the driver of a westbound 1998 Dodge Durango on the afternoon of June 25th, 2010. The sheriff’s office report said Haynes’ attention was diverted to the north side of Highway 34—a deputy was attending to a situation with a hay truck on the side of the road—and when Haynes looked back to his lane of travel he attempted to stop but could not avoid a collision with another vehicle.

72-year-old Audrey J. Gilliam of rural Eagle was the driver of the westbound 2002 Ford Escort that had stopped for oncoming traffic to make a southbound turn on 202nd Street.

Gilliam’s vehicle was pushed forward across the intersection and came to rest facing south in the south ditch, southwest of the intersection. The Dodge Durango ended up facing east in the north ditch, northwest of the intersection. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts, said the report.

Gilliam was pronounced dead on arrival at a Lincoln hospital.

Cox said the motor vehicle homicide charge was filed because the death occurred due to Haynes’ careless driving.

Sentencing in Cass County Court is March 24th.

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